Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Lunch Box Chronicles: Day One-Hundred Seventy Seven (Forks Over Knives: Day Three, No Cheating)

Thanks to Netflix, we saw the documentary Forks over Knives.  It told us what we suspected.  Made us feel guilty for many foods we eat.  And, motivated us to make some dietary changes - at least until we can't stand them anymore or run out of ideas, or worse, get really grumpy.

So, the synopsis is this: meat is evil; red meat is the worst; animal based products are bad; give up your beloved cheese, eggs, and butter.  People who eat animal based diets have higher rates of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and all the horribles that haunt those who consume products made by or with fellow creatures that once breathed.

Man! That is a harsh pill to swallow.  What if we have just a little meat?  A little cheese?  Our beloved eggs in the morning and cream in our coffee?  What if we just cut out some, but not all those animal based products?

Apparently, the real deal is that we are supposed to go cold turkey.  Cold Turkey?  More like Cold Kale.

We were ready to introduce this change to our daily routine. Tim did the shopping.  I did the cooking.  Lots of green stuff, beans, rice, and veggies in our fridge and cupboards.  I cheated on Day One - eating my friend's baked chicken that he did not eat while visiting him as he was recuperating from surgery at the hospital.  How could I possibly admit to my family that, in my desperation, I ate chicken from hospital fare?   I cheated also on Day Two, even though I did make enough rice and beans the night before to last a week.

The rice and black beans were not finished until late night because I did not anticipate the 4 hours of cooking after the eight hours of soaking.   So, we had them for a late night snack, for breakfast the next day, and for dinner the following evening.  The family was being surprisingly cooperative at dinner facing beans and rice again, but were looking a bit forlorn.

Enter cheat number two.  More poultry.  We happened to have some chicken in the fridge so I sauteed it up with some olive oil, garlic, and wine.   Everyone was happy with the addition of the poultry because the steady diet of beans and rice was causing slight gastric distress in all of us.  Day two was a semi-success.

So tonight, day three, we all sighed at the thought of consuming anything that contained beans.  Yet, I was resolute not to cheat again.

As I looked at a beautiful bunch of dark green kale that Tim brought home like a bouquet of flowers (thanks honey, so beautiful!), I prayed for my culinary instinct to divine something to me.  My prayers worked.  All I needed was a little organic tofu, some nuts, and some tasty oils (probably against the diet...but, heck, I needed some tools).   Here it is. Forks Over Knives, Day Three - No Cheating.

Ingredients and Directions

Make a cup and half of rice, according to instructions - organic brown rice is recommended, but if you are pressed for time (as we were), use white rice.

One large bunch kale, de-stemmed, rinsed, and chopped and half chopped onion.  Saute onion and kale in frying pan with freshly minced garlic (crushed with a mortar and pestle), extra virgin olive oil (about 1/4 cup), 2-4 TBL of organic toasted sesame seed oil, and salt to taste.   Saute until onions are soft and kale is limp.  Set aside.

Take one pound of organic extra firm tofu, and cut into equal size chunks.  Coat thoroughly with organic spelt.  Heat about 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil in a separate stainless steel frying pan.  As soon as the oil is heated, add coated tofu.  Cook until brown on all sides.  Add about 2TBL of toasted sesame seed oil.  Add about 1/2 cup unsalted peanuts.   Add kale, onion mix, and toss together.

Serve over rice.   DELICIOUS.

We did it.  We accomplished Forks over Knives, Day Three...

As noted by Tim, "Served with red wine, thank god, that hasn't been eliminated..."

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